Truck parts manufacturer cited for serious safety violations following
inspection by US Department of Labor's OSHA; $64,400 in fines proposed
BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – Blue Ridge Manufacturing LLC was cited by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration for 20 serious safety and health violations for exposing workers to safety hazards following an inspection at the company's truck body manufacturing facility in Blue Ridge. The agency initiated the March 2014 inspection because of a complaint. Penalties total $64,400.
"Employees working at this company are facing hazards, such as unguarded equipment, missing safety equipment and unsafe noise levels," said Bill Fulcher, director of OSHA's Atlanta-East Area Office. "These hazards put workers at risk of serious injury or death and must be addressed immediately."
With $63,700 in penalties, the serious safety violations include the employer's failure to provide lockout/tagout training to protect workers from dangerous machinery during equipment maintenance and servicing and failure to train workers required to operate powered industrial trucks. The company failed to inspect the crane used to pick up steel parts and to ensure exits were unlocked and clearly marked. Additionally, workers were exposed to struck-by and caught-in hazards from unguarded equipment, electrical shock and burn hazards, and dust levels that were six times greater than the established limit. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
The company was cited for an other-than-serious violation with a $700 penalty because of its failure to maintain the required OSHA injury and illness logs to reflect where injuries have occurred. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.
Blue Ridge Manufacturing, which specializes in building specialty truck bodies for commercial trucks, has 15 business days from receipt of its citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's Atlanta-East area director, or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Atlanta-East Area Office at 404-493-6644.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.
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